Ralph Eugene Meatyard was an American photographer from Illinois, living in Kentucky. He died in 1972, being only 47 years old. While working as an optician he purchased a camera from the store he worked for, and the rest is history. He was active shooting during the 50s, the 60s, and the early 70s, often using friends or family as models for his sinister work, along with props such as doll parts, and masks. Being way ahead of his time, when most recognized photographers were depicting the world unadorned, it was towards the end of the 60s that his Zen philosophy influenced genius was recognized.
I love how Ralph Eugene Meatyard is considered a master of the surreal and the abstract, he still is also one of the artists whose pictures never lack in content and philosophy. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he prefered to call himself an “amateur” despite his big exhibitions and was not influenced by other movements in photography or other artists, but rather by philosophy, poetry and literature. I love the fact that most people get the feeling his photographs were being taken promptly, when he himself clearly states that they were always very strictly directed. His work is a majestic example of how “creepy photography” can actually work as a a posterboy for ambiguity and the paradox, and can be thought provoking rather than being reduced to today’s beauties rolling in the woods just for the sake of being beauties rolling in the woods shot on film..